in: The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance 80, 117-134
This paper empirically investigates the role of culture in explaining the frequently reported differences in financial literacy between women and men. Using nationally representative survey data from India, we find that women are significantly less financially literate than men. This gender gap is not observable, however, when we only consider matrilineal states. Moreover, matrilineal women are more financially knowledgeable than patriarchal women. Using the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition method, we find that education, English language skills and the use of different information sources, such as newspapers and TV, are key transmission channels in explaining differences in financial knowledge between men and women in patriarchal states, and between patriarchal and matrilineal societies.